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Monday, November 17, 2014

Trio of stars to shine at eisteddfod concert



A TRIO of Welsh musical stars will top the bill at a Christmas concert which aims to raise cash to help bring competitors from abroad to next year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

Rhys Meirion, one of the world famous Three Welsh Tenors, will appear alongside pianist Annette Bryn Parri and 14-year-old schoolboy sensation Dewi Wykes, who sang alongside opera legend Bryn Terfel in the production of Sweeney Todd at this year’s eisteddfod, at the concert on Sunday, December 14 in Llangollen Pavilion.

Masterminded by the eisteddfod’s Music and Staging Committee, proceeds from the big seasonal show will go towards the overseas competitor bursary fund which supports competitors from developing countries.           

Rhys Meirion, who was born in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, worked as a primary school headteacher at Ysgol Pentrecelyn near Ruhtin before leaving in 1997 to study opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Together with Aled Hall and Alun Rhys-Jenkins, he is one of the inconic Three Welsh Tenors and his album with Bryn Terfel, Benedictus, was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2006.

He has sung the part of Rodolfo with Frankfurst Orchestra, West Australian Opera and Opera Australia and took the title role in Gounod’s Faust in Hong Kong.

He joined English National Opera in 1999 and later became company principal from 2001 to 2004.

There he sang most of the leading tenor roles including Rodolfo in La Boheme and Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly.

He has also played the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, Nadir in The Pearl Fishers, Marcello in Leoncavallo's La Boheme, Duke in Rigoletto, Tebaldo in Capuletti e Montecchi, Tamino in The Magic Flute, title role in Ernani, Sailor in Tristan und Isolde, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Froh in Das Rheingold and Zinovy in Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk.

Rhys was in Llangollen back in July when he stopped off in the town during his 200-mile sponsored walk to raise £250,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance of which he is official ambassador.

Annette Bryn Parri is a Welsh pianist, best known as an accompanist to opera stars such as Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans and Jason Howard.
She appears regularly on the Llangollen International Eisteddfod stage and also at the National Eisteddfod.

Born in Deiniolen, she studied piano with Rhiannon Gabrielson and graduated in 1984 from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester after studying under Marjorie Clementi.
Whilst at Manchester, she specialized in lieder, oratorio and opera, but her particular interest was in the Romantic composers.

In 1982, she won the Grace Williams Medal for composition at the Urdd Gobaith Cymru Eisteddfod in Pwllheli.
Schoolboy Dewi Wykes caused a critical stir when he appeared on stage with Bryn Terfel in the production of the musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street which was the curtain raiser to this year’s Llangollen Eisteddfod.  

He was hand-picked for the role of the young Tobias Ragg alongside the great bass-baritone in the of Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, bringing the house down with his stunning performance.
Also appearing at the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, are Ysgol Mogan Llwyd who were winners of this year’s Llangollen Eisteddfod Show Choir Competition, Mountain Lane Primary School and Llangollen Silver Band.

Tickets are available from the eisteddfod offices at the Pavilion, www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk/tickets (10978 862000), Glyn Davies the Butchers in Castle Street and Jades Hair and Beauty in Oak Street, both in Llangollen. 

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